The Personal Parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

St Aloysius' Church, 233 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North, 3161


News and Announcements

17th September, 2017

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One of the four lead organisations of the Coalition for Marriage, Marriage Alliance, has prepared a campaign handbook which is now available to download for free.

Backed up with domestic and international examples, the book outlines ten key consequences of changing the Marriage Act and provides answers to common arguments made by the 'yes' campaign.

Please download the handbook using the link below and share it with your networks.

Download Now

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From the Parish Priest's Desk


I commend to your study the following paper on Amoris Laetitia, by Josef Seifert. Please keep Dr Seifert in your prayers. He is being persecuted for his witness to Christ & the Truth in the moral order.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr Glen Tattersall

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The question in the title of this paper is addressed to Pope Francis and to all Catholic cardinals, bishops, philosophers and theologians. It deals with a dubium about a purely logical consequence of an affirmation in Amoris Laetitia, and ends with a plea to Pope Francis to retract at least one affirmation of AL, if the title question of this little essay has to be answered in the affirmative, and if indeed from this one affirmation in AL alone pure logic, using evident premises, can deduce the destruction of the entire Catholic moral teaching. In a Socratic style, the paper leaves it up to Pope Francis and other readers to answer the title question and to act upon their own answer.

Amoris Laetitia has no doubt created much uncertainty and evoked conflicting interpretations throughout the Catholic World. I do not wish to present this entire controversy here nor to repeat – or develop further – the position I have defended on this matter in previous articles (See Josef Seifert, “Amoris Laetitia. Joy, Sadness and Hopes”) I might still do this in a reply to some critical comments I have received from my personal friend Buttiglione, with whom I agree on almost all other philosophical matters, and others.

There is a single affirmation in AL, however, that has nothing to do with a recognition of the rights of subjective conscience, by reference to which Rocco Buttiglione seeks to demonstrate the full harmony between the moral magisterium of Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis, against Robert Spaemann’s and other assertions of a clear break between them. Buttiglione argues that, regarding their contrary teaching on sacramental discipline, Pope John Paul II is correct if one considers only the objective content of human acts, while Pope Francis is right when one accords, after due discernment, to subjective factors and missing conditions of mortal sin (deficient knowledge and weakness of free will) their proper role and recognition.

The assertion of AL I wish to investigate here, however, does not invoke subjective conscience at all, but claims a totally objective divine will for us to commit, in certain situations, acts that are intrinsically wrong, and have always been considered such by the Church. Since God can certainly not have a lack of ethical knowledge, an “erring conscience,” or a weakness of free will, this text does not “defend the rights of human subjectivity,” as Buttiglione claims, but appears to affirm clearly that these intrinsically disordered and objectively gravely sinful acts, as Buttiglione admits, can be permitted, or can even objectively be commanded, by God. If this is truly what AL affirms, all alarm over AL’s direct affirmations, regarding matters of changes of sacramental discipline (admitting, after due discernment, adulterers, active homosexuals, and other couples in similar situations to the sacraments of confession and eucharist, and, logically, also of baptism, confirmation, and matrimony, without their willingness to change their lives and to live in total sexual abstinence, which Pope John Paul II demanded in Familiaris Consortio from couples in such “irregular situations”), refer only to the peak of an iceberg, to the weak beginning of an avalanche, or to the first few buildings destroyed by a moral theological atomic bomb that threatens to tear down the whole moral edifice of the 10 commandments and of Catholic Moral Teaching.

In the present paper, however, I will not claim that this is the case. On the contrary, I will leave it entirely to the Pope or to any reader to answer the question whether or not there is at least one affirmation in Amoris Laetitia that has the logical consequence of destroying the entire Catholic moral teaching. And I must admit that what I read about a commission convened in order to “re-examine” Humanae Vitae, an Encyclical that put, like later Veritatis Splendor, a definitive end to decades of ethical and moral theological debates, has made this title question of my essay a matter of extreme concern to me.

Let us read the decisive text (AL 303), which is being applied by Pope Francis to the case of adulterous or otherwise “irregular couples” who decide not to follow the demand addressed in the Encyclical Familiaris Consortio of Saint Pope John Paul II to such “irregular couples”. Pope John Paul II tells these couples to either separate entirely or, if this is impossible, to abstain entirely from sexual relations. Pope Francis states, however: Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God (Relatio Finalis 2015, 85) and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal (AL 303).

From the previous as well as from the later context it is clear that this “will of God” here refers to continuing to live in what constitutes objectively a grave sin. Cf., for example, AL 298, Footnote 329:“In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers’.”

In Gaudium et Spes, 51, from which the last quote is taken, the thought is taken as an invalid objection against the moral demand never to commit adultery or an act of contraception. In AL it is understood in the sense explained above, as a justification, even known to correspond to the objective will of God, to continue to commit objectively speaking grave sins.

…….to be continued next week……

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Following his surgery, Fr Tattersall is in convalescence throughout September and into October. Our schedule should remain unchanged during this time. Please contact Fr Marshall regarding any Parish matter during Fr Tattersall’s absence on sick leave. Fr Tattersall is grateful for the support of Parishioners’ prayers, and welcomes visitors. Intending visitors are asked to call Father in advance on 0425 725 318.

Wolff organ restoration: we are very pleased to announce that the appeal target has been reached, thanks to the generosity of donors. It is now anticipated that the project will be complete by the end of September and the organ will be blessed and reintroduced into the Sacred Liturgy on Sunday, 8th October, 2017. The appeal committee wishes to thank those who through their donations and their time have contributed to the successful completion of this project.

Patronal Feast of Bl. John Henry Newman, Parish BBQ, & Organ concert – Sunday, 8th October: the reintroduction of the Wolff organ will happily coincide with our Patronal Feast. Mark Sunday 8th October in your diary now! His Lordship Bishop Elliott will bless the organ, and preach at Solemn Mass. A Parish BBQ picnic follows, and then an organ concert. More details soon!

First Confessions and First Holy Communion: first Holy Communion will be celebrated on Gaudete Sunday (17th December), preceded by First Confessions. Those parents who wish to present their children for these sacraments are asked to register this month, by contacting the Secretary via email (secretary@newmanparish.org). Sacramental preparation will commence in September.

An intensive two week course investigating the “modern dilemma” and its resolution, based on the thought of Bl. John Henry Newman, will be offered at the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne from Saturday 23rd September (contingent upon sufficient enrolments). The course, entitled "Faith, Reason & the New Evangelisation", will be given by Fr Scot Anthony Armstrong of the Brisbane Oratory in formation. For further enquiries, please contact Toby Hunter, thunter@jp2institute.org, or 9417 4349.

Christus Rex Pilgrimage, 27th – 29th October 2017. The annual pilgrimage takes place from Ballarat to Bendigo for the Feast of Christ the King. The three day event brings together traditional Catholics from all over Australia and New Zealand. For more information and to register, visit the pilgrimage web site: http://crex.org/wordpress/

Coalition for Marriage Event on Saturday 23rd September 7pm – 8:30pm, to launch their Victorian Campaign. It will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre. There is a $10 per head cover charge to assist in covering costs. Further details and registration can be found at the following link https://www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/vic_event

Updates on the Marriage Plebiscite: an umbrella group to assist the “No” campaign is Coalition for Marriage and they are asking for people to sign up with them: https://www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/ . Also, there is a 54 day Rosary Crusade, that commenced on 14th September, that all are encouraged to join: "https://www.facebook.com/events/796160933896581/

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